How to write an essay

What is good writing? This is not an easy question to answer. Many very different kinds of writing are considered “good” and for many different reasons. There is no formula or program for writing well. However, there are certain qualities that most examples of good writing share. The following is a brief description of five qualities of good writing: focus, development, unity, coherence, and correctness. The qualities described here are especially important for academic and expository writing.

FIVE QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING

FOCUS An essay should have a single clear central idea. Each paragraph should have a clear main point or topic sentence.
DEVELOPMENT Each paragraph should support or expand the central idea of the paper. The idea of each paragraph should be explained and illustrated through examples, details, and descriptions.
UNITY Every paragraph in an essay should be related to the main idea. Each paragraph should stick to its main point.
COHERENCE An essay or paper should be organized logically, flow smoothly, and “stick” together. In other words, everything in the writing should make sense to a reader.
CORRECTNESS A paper should be written in generally correct standard English, with complete sentences, and be relatively error-free.

One additional quality, not part of this list, but nevertheless, very important, is creativity. The best writing carries some of the personality and individuality of its author. Follow the above guidelines, but always work to make your writing uniquely your own.

How to write an essay

A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument — all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way.

Start With a Hook

Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic. To pique the reader’s interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal story, a surprising statistic or an interesting question. For example, if you are arguing that smoking should be banned from all public places, you can start your introduction by referencing a statistic from a verified source: “Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year — more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to the World Health Organization.” This strategy grabs the reader’s attention while introducing the topic of the essay.

Include Background

Providing readers with background on the topic allows them to better understand the issue being presented. This information provides context and history that can be crucial to explaining and arguing your point. For example, if you are arguing that there should never be a military draft in the United States, your introduction can include information about the history of the U.S. draft and the events that led to it being abolished.

State Your Thesis

The thesis is the essence of an argumentative essay. In a single, clear sentence, it sums up what point you are trying to make. The thesis statement should assert a position on a particular issue — one that a reader can potentially argue against. Therefore, the thesis cannot be a fact. For example, if a professor assigns the general topic of war, you can formulate the following thesis statement: “The United Nations must be redesigned because it is currently incapable of preventing wars.” The rest of your essay serves to explain and provide evidence in support of your thesis statement.

What to Leave Out

A good introduction should not be describing arguments or providing analysis that belong in the body paragraphs. Your introduction should introduce and set up your point, rather than lay out evidence to support it. Also, while your intro is a road map for the rest of the essay, you shouldn’t explicitly announce what and how you will be arguing: “I am going to prove to you that . ” This type of set up does not add any pertinent information and only serves as filler.

  • Utah State University Writing Guide: Introduction and Conclusion
  • Clark College: Writing Strong Argument Papers
  • Purdue University: Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper
  • World Health Organization: 10 Facts on Second-hand Smoke

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

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How to write an essay

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Knowing how to write an essay is a skill that you can use throughout your life. The ability to organize ideas that you use in constructing an essay will help you write business letters, company memos, and marketing materials for your clubs and organizations.

Anything you write will benefit from learning these simple parts of an essay:

  1. Purpose and Thesis
  2. Title
  3. Introduction
  4. Body of Information
  5. Conclusion

Here are five steps to make it happen:

Purpose/Main Idea

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Before you can start writing, you must have an idea to write about. If you haven’t been assigned a topic, it’s easier than you might think to come up with one of your own.

Your best essays will be about things that light your fire. What do you feel passionate about? What topics do you find yourself arguing for or against? Choose the side of the topic you are "for" rather than "against" and your essay will be stronger.

Do you love gardening? Sports? Photography? Volunteering? Are you an advocate for children? Domestic peace? The hungry or homeless? These are clues to your best essays.

Put your idea into a single sentence. This is your thesis statement, your main idea.

Title

How to write an essay

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Choose a title for your essay that expresses your primary idea. The strongest titles will include a verb. Take a look at any newspaper and you'll see that every title has a verb.

Your title should make someone want to read what you have to say. Make it provocative.

Here are a few ideas:

  • America Needs Better Health Care Now
  • The Use of the Mentor Archetype in _____
  • Who Is the She-Conomy?
  • Why DJ Is the Queen of Pedicures
  • Melanoma: Is It or Isn’t It?
  • How to Achieve Natural Balance in Your Garden
  • Expect to Be Changed by Reading _____

Some people will tell you to wait until you have finished writing to choose a title. Other people find that writing a title helps them stay focused. You can always review your title when you've finished the essay to ensure that it's as effective as it can be.

Introduction

How to write an essay

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Your introduction is one short paragraph, just a sentence or two, that states your thesis (your main idea) and introduces your reader to your topic. After your title, this is your next best chance to hook your reader. Here are some examples:

  • Women are the chief buyers in 80 percent of America's households. If you're not marketing to them, you should be.
  • Take another look at that spot on your arm. Is the shape irregular? Is it multicolored? You could have melanoma. Know the signs.
  • Those tiny wasps flying around the blossoms in your garden can't sting you. Their stingers have evolved into egg-laying devices. The wasps, busying finding a place to lay their eggs, are participating in the balance of nature.

Body of Information

How to write an essay

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The body of your essay is where you develop your story or argument. Once you have finished your research and produced several pages of notes, go through them with a highlighter and mark the most important ideas, the key points.

Choose the top three ideas and write each one at the top of a clean page. Now go through your notes again and pull out supporting ideas for each key point. You don't need a lot, just two or three for each one.

Write a paragraph about each of these key points, using the information you’ve pulled from your notes. If you don’t have enough for one, you might need a stronger key point. Do more research to support your point of view. It’s always better to have too many sources than too few.

Conclusion

How to write an essay

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You've almost finished. The last paragraph of your essay is your conclusion. It, too, can be short, and it must tie back to your introduction.

In your introduction, you stated the reason for your paper. In your conclusion, you should summarize how your key points support your thesis. Here's an example:

  • By observing the balance of nature in her gardens, listening to lectures, and reading everything she can get her hands on about insects and native plants, Lucinda has grown passionate about natural balance. "It's easy to get passionate if you just take time to look," she says.

If you’re still worried about your essay after trying on your own, consider hiring an essay editing service. Reputable services will edit your work, not rewrite it. Choose carefully. One service to consider is Essay Edge.

Make writing an essay as easy as making a hamburger

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Writing an essay is like making a hamburger. Think of the introduction and conclusion as the bun, with the “meat” of your argument in between. The introduction is where you’ll state your thesis, while the conclusion sums up your case. Both should be no more than a few sentences. The body of your essay, where you’ll present facts to support your position, must be much more substantial, usually three paragraphs. Like making a hamburger, writing a good essay takes preparation. Let’s get started!

Structuring the Essay (aka Building a Burger)

Think about a hamburger for a moment. What are its three main components? There's a bun on top and a bun on the bottom. In the middle, you'll find the hamburger itself. So what does that have to do with an essay? Think of it this way:

  • The top bun contains your introduction and topic statement. This paragraph begins with a hook, or factual statement intended to grab the reader’s attention. It is followed by a thesis statement, an assertion that you intend to prove in the body of the essay that follows.
  • The meat in the middle, called the body of the essay, is where you’ll offer evidence in support of your topic or thesis. It should be three to five paragraphs in length, with each offering a main idea that is backed up by two or three statements of support.
  • The bottom bun is the conclusion, which sums up the arguments you’ve made in the body of the essay.

Like the two pieces of a hamburger bun, the introduction and conclusion should be similar in tone, brief enough to convey your topic but substantial enough to frame the issue that you'll articulate in the meat, or body of the essay.

Choosing a Topic

Before you can begin writing, you'll need to choose a topic for your essay, ideally one that you're already interested in. Nothing is harder than trying to write about something you don't care about. Your topic should be broad or common enough that most people will know at least something about what you're discussing. Technology, for example, is a good topic because it's something we can all relate to in one way or another.

Once you've chosen a topic, you must narrow it down into a single thesis or central idea. The thesis is the position you're taking in relation to your topic or a related issue. It should be specific enough that you can bolster it with just a few relevant facts and supporting statements. Think about an issue that most people can relate to, such as: "Technology is changing our lives."

Drafting the Outline

Once you've selected your topic and thesis, it's time to create a roadmap for your essay that will guide you from the introduction to conclusion. This map, called an outline, serves as a diagram for writing each paragraph of the essay, listing the three or four most important ideas that you want to convey. These ideas don't need to be written as complete sentences in the outline; that's what the actual essay is for.

Here's one way of diagramming an essay on how technology is changing our lives:

Introductory Paragraph

  • Hook: Statistics on home workers
  • Thesis: Technology has changed work
  • Links to main ideas to be developed in the essay: Technology has changed where, how and when we work

Body Paragraph I

  • Main idea: Technology has changed where we can work
  • Support: Work on the road + example
  • Support: Work from home + example statistic
  • Conclusion

Body Paragraph II

  • Main idea: Technology has changed how we work
  • Support: Technology allows us to do more on our own + example of multitasking
  • Support: Technology allows us to test our ideas in simulation + example of digital weather forecasting
  • Conclusion

Body Paragraph III

  • Main idea: Technology has changed when we work
  • Support: Flexible work schedules + example of telecommuters working 24/7
  • Support: Technology allows us to work any time + example of people teaching online from home
  • Conclusion

Concluding Paragraph

  • Review of main ideas of each paragraph
  • Restatement of thesis: Technology has changed how we work
  • Concluding thought: Technology will continue to change us

Note that the author uses only three or four main ideas per paragraph, each with a main idea, supporting statements, and a summary.

Creating the Introduction

Once you’ve written and refined your outline, it’s time to write the essay. Begin with the introductory paragraph. This is your opportunity to hook the reader’s interest in the very first sentence, which can be an interesting fact, a quotation, or a rhetorical question, for instance.

After this first sentence, add your thesis statement. The thesis clearly states what you hope to express in the essay. Follow that with a sentence to introduce your body paragraphs. This not only gives the essay structure, but it also signals to the reader what is to come. For example:

Notice how the author uses a fact and addresses the reader directly to grab their attention.

Writing the Body of the Essay

Once you've written the introduction, it's time to develop the meat of your thesis in three or four paragraphs. Each should contain a single main idea, following the outline you prepared earlier. Use two or three sentences to support the main idea, citing specific examples. Conclude each paragraph with a sentence that summarizes the argument you've made in the paragraph.

In this case, the author continues to directly address the reader while offering examples to support their assertion.

Concluding the Essay

The summary paragraph summarizes your essay and is often a reverse of the introductory paragraph. Begin the summary paragraph by quickly restating the principal ideas of your body paragraphs. The penultimate (next to last) sentence should restate your basic thesis of the essay. Your final statement can be a future prediction based on what you have shown in the essay.

In this example, the author concludes by making a prediction based on the arguments made in the essay.

Time is not always on the student’s side. All agree that sometimes, writing a good essay fast can be a real hassle. Often there is so much to do that students are hardly left with enough time to wrap up a 500-word essay, or they’ve been procrastinating for far too long to complete the task. In situations like these, most students quickly jump into the Internet and Google phrases like how to write an essay fast and save time.

While you always get important information following searches like ‘tips on writing 500 words essay ; and especially save time writing essays, it is important to note that when you finally find the right solution, speed shouldn’t compromise the quality you produce in essays. Whichever way you look at it, every student needs an expert guide on every aspect of academia, which includes time management. The catch here is even when it comes to crafting narrative, persuasive, expository, or argumentative essays – saving time remains a pivotal aspect of success.

7 Steps On How To Write A Good Essay In An Hour

Now, here comes the trickiest part. Are you able to write an essay in an hour? If so, what are some of the most crucial steps involved? To write an essay in an hour a student must own up to a few things. First understand that time is limited, and secondly, without being able to meet deadlines, other equally important academic tasks may suffer as well.

Need help with writing an essay fast

The following are the seven major steps to crafting an exceptional paper before the clock runs out:

1. Plan your time

Jumping into writing isn’t always a good idea, and you may want to ask, why? Well, while you could be having all the best ideas streaming in your mind, it is important to look at it from a perspective of time management. Failing to plan means some steps may consume more time than planned, something which could mean you rush through the most important stages like editing to beat deadlines.

2. Read extensively

Students who read extensively prior to writing their papers agree they are usually able to manage their time wisely and that write a college paper is not only going to be fast but also easy when you take this approach.

Be sure to take notes. Collecting information and data you gather from reading sources saves you a great amount of time at the writing stage.

4. Write down a thesis statement

Next step to doing an essay in an hour is crafting the thesis statement. With this, you have more time to think about other sections of your paper and build the draft quickly around a central idea.

5. Create topic statements around your thesis

Now, it is time to come up with topic statements which you will build up sentences and paragraphs. With a good thesis – Global warming is apocalyptic, setups the content of the essay with supporting ideas such as: causes of global warming and how to curb the menace, make the best starting points for paragraphs, not to mention that the flow makes for a great essay format.

With the aforementioned points, writing should not be a tedious process. Craft your paper quickly, and if possible, type everything without drafting a rough copy. This stage should be easy if you have the best information on paper, and that you had planned well. For a one hour task, anyone with a good plan and quality notes should be able to write an essay fast and 30 minutes is enough time to wrap things up in a fashionable way. Remember, your introduction should hook readers and the conclusion should summarize main ideas.

7. Proofread and edit slow

The last stage is editing, which should be easy, especially if you have factored in the above points on how to quickly write an essay. Experts say, “write fast, and edit slowly.”

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Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield. Revised on January 8, 2021.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

You’ll sometimes be asked to submit an essay outline as a separate assignment before you start writing an essay—but even if you don’t have to hand one in, it’s a good idea to create an outline as part of your writing process.

Table of contents

  1. Organizing your material
  2. Presentation of the outline
  3. Examples of essay outlines
  4. Frequently asked questions about essay outlines

Organizing your material

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources, but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement. Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion, but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

Presentation of the outline

Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

How to write an essay

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

Expository essay outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
    2. Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
    3. Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
    1. Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
    2. Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
    3. Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
    1. Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
    2. Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
    3. Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
    4. Link to the Reformation.
    1. Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
    2. Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
    3. Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
    1. Summarize the history described.
    2. Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

    Literary analysis essay outline

    The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park.

    The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

    Literary analysis essay outline

    1. Introduction
      1. Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
      2. Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
      3. Introduce the research question: How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park?
      1. Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
      2. Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
      1. Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
      2. Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
      1. Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
      2. Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
      1. Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
      2. Answer the research question
      3. Indicate areas for further study

      Frequently asked questions about essay outlines

      You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay. Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

      Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process. It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

      If you have to hand in your essay outline, you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

      When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

      You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay. However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline. Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

      Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader’s logic.

      The focus of such an essay predicts its structure. It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it. Thus your essay’s structure is necessarily unique to the main claim you’re making. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types (e.g., comparative analysis), there are no set formula.

      Answering Questions: The Parts of an Essay

      A typical essay contains many different kinds of information, often located in specialized parts or sections. Even short essays perform several different operations: introducing the argument, analyzing data, raising counterarguments, concluding. Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don’t. Counterargument, for example, may appear within a paragraph, as a free-standing section, as part of the beginning, or before the ending. Background material (historical context or biographical information, a summary of relevant theory or criticism, the definition of a key term) often appears at the beginning of the essay, between the introduction and the first analytical section, but might also appear near the beginning of the specific section to which it’s relevant.

      It’s helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. (Readers should have questions. If they don’t, your thesis is most likely simply an observation of fact, not an arguable claim.)

      “What?” The first question to anticipate from a reader is “what”: What evidence shows that the phenomenon described by your thesis is true? To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This “what” or “demonstration” section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you’re essentially reporting what you’ve observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing. But be forewarned: it shouldn’t take up much more than a third (often much less) of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.

      “How?” A reader will also want to know whether the claims of the thesis are true in all cases. The corresponding question is “how”: How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you’re making? Typically, an essay will include at least one “how” section. (Call it “complication” since you’re responding to a reader’s complicating questions.) This section usually comes after the “what,” but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay.

      “Why?” Your reader will also want to know what’s at stake in your claim: Why does your interpretation of a phenomenon matter to anyone beside you? This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering “why”, your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay’s end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.

      Mapping an Essay

      Structuring your essay according to a reader’s logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay’s ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader’s needs in understanding your idea.

      Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material. Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:

      • State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it’s important to make that claim. Indicate, in other words, what a reader might learn by exploring the claim with you. Here you’re anticipating your answer to the “why” question that you’ll eventually flesh out in your conclusion.
      • Begin your next sentence like this: “To be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is . . .” Then say why that’s the first thing a reader needs to know, and name one or two items of evidence you think will make the case. This will start you off on answering the “what” question. (Alternately, you may find that the first thing your reader needs to know is some background information.)
      • Begin each of the following sentences like this: “The next thing my reader needs to know is . . .” Once again, say why, and name some evidence. Continue until you’ve mapped out your essay.

      Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. It is not a contract, though—the order in which the ideas appear is not a rigid one. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas.

      Signs of Trouble

      A common structural flaw in college essays is the “walk-through” (also labeled “summary” or “description”). Walk-through essays follow the structure of their sources rather than establishing their own. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one. Be wary of paragraph openers that lead off with “time” words (“first,” “next,” “after,” “then”) or “listing” words (“also,” “another,” “in addition”). Although they don’t always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essay’s thesis and structure need work: they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text (in the case of time words: first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing . . . ) or simply lists example after example (“In addition, the use of color indicates another way that the painting differentiates between good and evil”).

      How to write an essay

      A how-to essay is an essay that explains how to do something. It could be something as simple as “How to Bake Brownies” to something as complex as “How to Build a Nuclear Reactor.” In the essay, you’ll dissect the entire process from start to finish and include all the information necessary for the reader to achieve a successful result.

      How-to essays aren’t difficult, but they do require you to pay close attention to details.

      Here’s what you need to remember when writing a how-to essay:

      Step 1 – Pick a Topic

      Maybe you’ll be assigned a topic or maybe you’ll be given free rein to choose your own. In the event you have to pick a subject, it’s better for you to write about something you already know about. For example, if you know nothing about car mechanics, maybe you shouldn’t write an essay on how to change your transmission fluid.

      Step 2 – Make a List of Materials

      If your essay involves making or doing something physical, then you should include a complete list of materials for your reader. Write down everything they’ll need to finish the task.

      Step 3 – Write an Outline of Steps

      Jot down the basic instructions that need to be followed. You can finesse the language later. Just get the essential ideas down first.

      Step 4 – Write an Essay Outline

      A how-to essay usually follows a particular form that includes:

      • Introduction – Tell the reader what you’re going to be teaching them how to do: In this essay, I’m going to show you how to make the best brownies in under fifteen minutes.
      • List of materials – Usually a list of materials comes next: In order to bake brownies, here’s a list of ingredients and cooking tools you’ll need…
      • Numbered steps – How-to essays usually include numbered steps where you’ll provide detailed instructions of each procedure.
      • Action – If you’re writing about something like how to fix a car engine or how to make a lamp, there will be a point where they will have to turn on the car or the lamp. Include that step if it applies to you.
      • Conclusion – Briefly summarize the more important steps and let the reader know what kind of results they can expect if they followed them.

      What Else to Include

      • Tips – You can give helpful tips as well. For example, if you’re giving instructions on baking brownies, it’s not essential that the reader mix the eggs and milk and oil separately before adding the brownie mix, but it can help avoid over-mixing with the dry ingredients which can make the texture more tough. This is not an essential part of the procedure, but it demonstrates your knowledge of the subject and gives the reader more information and more options. However, you should avoid going into micro-details. You don’t need to explain how the chemical reaction of the ingredients works to produce brownies. But the occasional bit of expert advice that can help provide a better result is a welcome addition.
      • Procedural phrases – Guide your reader with words like first, next, last, simultaneously, separately, afterwards, before and other words that highlight order or technique.

      Step 5 – Test It Out

      It can be easy to miss steps or to explain something in a way that leaves room for misinterpretation. The best way to make sure your essay is error-free is to have someone else follow your steps and see if your instructions work. Make sure you watch them as they go through your procedure step by step. Resist the temptation to give advice or correct things while they’re in the middle of it, but take notes to see what might need to be added or modified in your final draft.

      Step 6 – Edit

      After testing it out on a friend, it’s time to edit your text. Include any missed steps, make sure you’ve used procedural phrases and, if possible, test it out one more time before calling it a wrap.